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Thread: Brownish Water in return while vacuuming?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Brownish Water in return while vacuuming?

    Not just brownish water for me, I swear it's just about everything I vacuum.

    Thought maybe it was just really small particles at first but placing a sock over the return jet collected lots of larger stuff. (most notably tons of little red worms..ew)
    The pool is a 27 foot above ground, with a hayward c850 filter. Pool sat for at least 2 years before we bought the house and probably more.. neighbor says he never saw pool activity in 5 years.

    Guess I'll just go over everything we've done, sorry if it gets a bit long winded.

    After removing the cover earlier in the spring (cover just about disintegrated pulling it off) my wife went to town using a scoop skimmer removing leaves and such off the bottom, blindly of course.
    She got tons of stuff out, leaving it in nice neat piles around the pool for me to pick up

    Decided it would be a good idea to just drain it and start fresh. Using a small pump running several hours a day we drained it into our driveway drain, until a friend said "STOP!"
    Explained that any water can be brought back, and we were throwing money down the drain. So we stopped, pool was about halfway empty.

    It sat like that for a few weeks. we havnt been in the house a full year, and with plenty of other stuff to do I didnt know if we really wanted to take on the expense of bringing
    this pool up to a swimmable condition. Eventually we fill it up and get the pump/filter going.

    Working with the local pool supply company the Mrs. takes them samples and starts working with the chemicals (Don't chuckle, I hadn't been to pool school at that point)
    She asked about vacuuming it and the guy said no, I dunno if he knew what she had taken off the bottom before, how long it sat, or anything like that. I take the skimmer/scoop and
    run it across the bottom from the outside rim to the center and pull up. Reminded me of the Gulf of Mexico oil leak they had last year. Blackest of black gritty slimy mushroom cloud came up from the bottom. (as well as a scooper full of larger stuff)

    I figure this stuff has to come out. The vacuum I couldn't seem to get pressure, and the sediment seemed more than I wanted to put through there anyhow. I end up IN the pool with the scooper meticulously scooping stuff off the bottom and dumping it outside the pool. (picking sticks up with my toes as I find them, not too many, but enough little ones I started to get good at it)

    A short while after that I did get the vacuum up and running with awesome pressure, the pool had settled and cleared up a bit from shocking. I get in with the vacuum and start going over the bottom again. Blackest black shoots out the return jet. Skimmer basket filled with leaves really fast (I checked almost immediately after I started, and dumped it out every few minutes) I was happy to get the vacuum running, and getting all the leaves for sure was going to be awesome. Didn't know what to think about the black water from the jet, just though maybe it was too small for the filter to get. Few times during vacuuming I did get out, disconnect the vacuum, shut down the pump, drain the filter, removed and hosed out the cartridge. But although it was a little dirty I was pretty sure not dirty enough for what I was putting through there.

    I've put bleach in periodically just to keep it from not looking totally disgusting, not really doing much else until the filter gets figured out. Tried different things with the filer and vacuum today. Tried pushing cartridge down as hard as I could, tried just setting it in there delicately, tried it upside down and right side up (if it even matters, which I don't think it does)

    Cartridge does have a hairline crack, but water passing thru that would still just hit the pleats of the filter.

    The lid to the filter screws down the same amount whether the cartridge is in or not. But it does come a bit short of what I THINK is meant stop it.. a little tab that sticks up from the side.
    I checked the threads on the filter housing, but just thought to myself I didnt check the threads on the lid! Next time I'm outside.

    So thats it, in a nutshell. Do I try a new cartridge for $65-$100? or go for another filter?

    This late in the season I'm probably going to try the cartridge, and if problem is still there put the pool off till next year.
    So maybe this typing was all in vain unless someone knows whats up with the filter??

    Anyhow, AWESOME forums! I'll be around every summer.


  2. Back To Top    #2
    wetchem's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska

    Re: Brownish Water in return while vacuuming?

    Ok... forgive me if I start from firstbase... I'm fairly new here:
    (mods, I wont be offended if you correct me on any of this)

    I've been lurking here for a few days...
    While you're waiting for the guys that are really in the know to advise here's what I've seen:

    First - Get us some pictures of where you're at now!

    Second - get a good test kit. Test Kits Compared You will need it. If you go with the TF-100, from what it sounds like, you'll be doing alot of free chlorine tests so order the the "XL Option" also, unless you're a person that spins the test-tubes like I do for a living, add the spin stir option too... you wont regret it! I have the TF-100...

    Third - While you're waiting for your test kit: Read pool school (link in my sig and upper right corner)... personally, I started with Definitions and Abbreviations so that I could understand what I was being told and so that I could use the correct terms... will make things a lot easier for you to follow. Next I think you will be sent to How to Shock Your Pool... it's a process not a product.
    I'd read both of these twice.... but then... I can be a little slow in the uptake

    Fourth - Get as much of that junk out of your pool as you can... I'd take the stuff to waste... you're going to have enough going thru your filter during the "cure" for your sick pool. Scoop it, vacuum, what ever, just get as much as you can physically remove out of the pool as you can - even if you're doing it "blind." Having partially drained the pool may actually have helped in this case.

    Fifth - search this site about "swamp" conversions... take heart, you are not alone and the people here are here to help.

    Sixth - re-read the How to Shock Your Pool... it's a process not a product.

    When you start the Shock process... Set aside some time to do this.... it will take time... it will take effort... it will take patience....

    From a sanity standpoint... price the liquid chlorine which is roughly twice the concentration of the bleach... It would be the only thing I would purchase from the pool store (and only then if it's cheaper there) unless someone here mentions otherwise. Often the local hardware store will cary the stuff too. From what it sounds like... you're going to need a huge amount either this stuff or bleach

    I would also get a sample of your feed water... with your test kit, run a full set of tests (except CYA, it more than likely will be zero) and post here when you get them... I'd also take a look at getting your feed water tested for metals.

    Finally, before mods and the experts get here - I can not stress enough, take heart, you are not alone and the people here are here to help

    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

    :mrgreen: Click here to Goto Pool School. :scratch: How Much Of What? Click Here - :lookhere: TestKits

  3. Back To Top    #3
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: Brownish Water in return while vacuuming?

    Welcome to tfp, Zflecs

    Wetchem gave you great information and recommendations! Definitely, check out his link and get an appropriate test kit.

    You are doing a great job getting all that junk off the bottom of your pool

    It does sounds like you filter is not filtering the water correctly. You don't have a filter bypass valve by any chance? As wetchem said, some pictures might be helpful.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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